October 28, 2020

What the nation is saying about Mississippi's anti-LGBT law taking effect today

The country’s most sweeping anti-LGBT law (better known as HB 1523) takes effect in Mississippi today, allowing public employees, service providers and business owners religious exemption in cases of discrimination when refusing to serve members of the LGBT community.
Three specific beliefs form the foundation of the law: 1) Marriage can only be between a man and woman; 2) Sex is “properly confined” within a man-woman marriage, and 3) A person’s sex is determined biologically at birth and cannot change.
We rounded up state and national news and opinion coverage regarding the HB 1523, including reaction from the LGBT community in Mississippi:


HB 1523: Mississippi’s Extreme Attack on LGBT Rights | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS
With a lack of political power in Mississippi and across the South, we file lawsuits in federal courts to strike these laws down; in our democracy, the courts are supposed to offer recourse when laws violate basic rights. In oral arguments before the 5th Circuit, a federal judge posed a hypothetical to Gov. Phil Bryant’s lawyer: If Mississippi passed a law making Southern Baptist the official state religion, would plaintiffs have standing to challenge it? “No,” the attorney replied. The state’s argument boils down to this cruel assertion: Harm begins when we say it does. Just as for years they’ve said, if you’re LGBT, inequality is a condition of living in Mississippi.


 
Mississippi Faith Leaders Fight Discrimination – Center for American Progress

 


 
Just because HB 1523 protects discrimination doesn’t mean Mississippians should discriminate | The Sun Herald
You can’t hurry love, The Supremes sang. And you can’t legislate it either, we are quick to add.
Love is not a crime. Love defies regulation. People will fall in love regardless of laws written by men and women and decrees issued by judges.


Opinion: HB 1523 violates basic human rights – The Daily Mississippian | The Daily Mississippian
This law is a violation of basic human rights and dignity. It is an all-out attack on the LGBTQ community. It devalues and excludes from society anyone who does not adhere to a heteronormative and evangelical Christian lifestyle. It allows discrimination in hiring, issuing marriage licenses, granting adoption rights, renting, dispensing health care and much more.


Mississippi anti-LGBT ‘religious freedom’ law takes effect | Washington Blade
Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, spelled out the potential consequences of the law in a statement on the day it went into effect.
“The insidious power of a law like this is that it casts a long shadow over public life, forcing someone to assess whether they will be treated fairly and respectfully in situations from the crisis of an emergency room to an anniversary dinner at a restaurant to a child’s classroom,” Beach-Ferrara said. “Now we face the cruel reality of the law going into effect and the imminent threat it poses to the dignity, health and well-being of LGBT Mississippians.”